Accenture Research Finds Charities Recognize Importance of IT and Innovation but Many Struggle to Embrace New Technologies
Few UK charities report moving to cloud computing, developing mobile apps or
using social media
LONDON; Oct. 4, 2012 – Three-quarters of charities (76 percent) believe technology has increased the number of people they are able to help, however few are investing in new technologies such as mobility, cloud and social media, according to an Accenture (NYSE: ACN) survey of UK charities. The survey was conducted in support of Byte Night, the UK IT industry’s annual sleep-out in aid of homeless young people.
The report found that 44 percent of charities believe IT speeds up the delivery of services and has had a profound impact on raising awareness and data collection by allowing organizations to better engage with new audiences. Almost half (44 percent) confirmed technology enables them to do more with less, allowing them to fund the same projects at lower costs, while 61 percent have reported efficiency gains.
Despite acknowledging the benefits technology offers, economic uncertainty and budget pressures mean few charities are investing in new or emerging technologies. Some 30 percent of charities have no plans for social media even though almost half (44 percent) believe it will have the biggest impact on charities over the next five years. Just six percent of respondents said they have a mobile app for their organization.
Furthermore, 80 per cent respondents said they are not migrating to the cloud. While 24 percent are planning to prioritize cloud in the next five years, a significant number of organizations are missing out on advantages the cloud can offer.
“The report highlights areas of real concern. Charities are more supportive of technology than ever before and many are working with IT companies – often on a pro bono basis – to evolve their strategies and there is still clearly work to be done. Despite wanting to use new technologies, some charities are struggling to invest in areas that could show huge benefits,” said Andrew Poppleton, managing director of Accenture’s UK and Ireland Technology group.
He continued, “Consumer behaviour has changed. Charities, like all organizations, need to evolve quickly if they are going to successfully serve communities across the UK. If charities don’t put a strategy in place to use new technology such as social media and mobile applications, it could have a direct impact on the services they offer and reduce their ability to help some of the UK’s most in need.”
Brychan Watkins, CIO at Action for Children, the organization that sponsors Byte Night, is one charity that has taken advantage of new technologies and acknowledged the impact it has had on the organization.
“Not every charity is in the same position we are and some aren’t able to take advantage of new technologies. However, at a time when we are fighting for every penny, the IT tools we have at our disposal are even more critical,” said Watkins. “Innovations in technology make it easier for us to communicate with the public so they can learn about Action for Children in a way that suits them. Technology has enabled us to streamline our processes, raise awareness and deliver help to those who need it most.”
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with 257,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is www.accenture.com
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